Planet Aid's America Recycles Clothing Drive Contest was a win for partnering schools, the planet, and youth environmental action

Children and mascot dropping off textiles at Planet Aid bins

Planet Aid's School and Community Programs (SCP) Department announced the winners of its America's Recycles Clothing Drive Contest on Tuesday, November 29, during a live broadcast on Instagram and Facebook. Forty-eight schools in participating Planet Aid regions, helped divert 47,056 pounds of textiles away from local landfills. What an impact!

Reusing clothes also conserves water. How so? According to Swedish sourcing company Material Exchange, " as an industry is the second largest consumer of water on Earth. Water is used for bleaching, dyeing, finishing, softening, growing, spinning, and more."

Slowing down the effects of fast fashion by donating reusable textiles provides a sustainable pathway for a circular economy and fashion stream.

During the America's Recycles Clothing Drive, participating schools helped conserve an estimated 65-million gallons of water, which is no drop in the bucket.

clothes dyeing

Massachusetts swept the top three winning spots. The grand prize winner won $1,000 for collecting the most pounds, with a final tally totaling 4,445 pounds. It's a well-deserved accomplishment for the two-time winning champions, St. John's the Baptist School, in Ludlow, MA.

St. John the Baptist School in Ludlow, MA accepting their check for $1,000 for winning the Planet Aid clothing drive contest

They also collected the most pounds during the Earth Month Clothing Drive Contest in March.

Brophy Elementary School also rallied their students, teachers and PTO to place second in the contest. The school won "Most Improved' in the spring contest. This time they ranked in the top three, winning the $700 prize.

Rounding out the top three winners was Manchester-Essex Regional High School, who took third place honors. The school also participated in the spring clothing drive contest, but did not place. This year they take home a $500 prize.

Planet Aid school clothing drive leaderboard

The America Recycles Clothing Drive Contest ran from October 31 - November 18. Its theme took inspiration from America Recycles Day, an annual celebration on November 15. America Recycles Day encourages Americans to recognize the importance and impact of recycling and its effects in protecting the environment.

On Planet Aid's Instagram/Facebook Live, Chief Strategy Officer, Uli Stosch joined hosts School and Community Projects' Marketing & Program Development staff, Natalie Glanell and Ashley Gaines-Seay, to announce the top winners. She also talked about how each school—similar to Planet Aid's mission—mobilized to bring about change.

Stosch said, "For the last three weeks, you have done exactly what we say in our mission. You have mobilized the schools, the classes, the teachers, (and) the community to donate clothing, which is wonderful. She, also, congratulated the schools, stating, "To mobilize somebody else to take part in something is a great experience. It's like a reward. You have contributed to environmental progress."

Planet Aid staff reading announcement of clothing drive winners

Planet Aid's School and Community Projects department brought another exciting element to the fall contest by incorporating a creativity category. Submissions poured in with pictures and videos of mascots, classes and individual students dropping off their reusable textiles to Planet Aid bins. In addition, video skits with raps, dances, essays, and Monday morning strategy meetings, were also included.

Creativity contest winners, A. Russell Knight Elementary School, in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, was led by a very enthusiastic music teacher. Ms. Doyle submitted a video with students in front of the Planet Aid bin and talking about how Planet Aid helps globally and domestically. They also documented their weekly Monday strategy meetings and their textile drop-offs at the Planet Aid bin.

Little boy conducting Monday Morning meetings for Planet Aid project at A. Russell Knight Elementary

Tatnall Middle School, in Wilmington, Delaware, tied for the $200 top prize for creativity. The school sent multiple videos with students acting out comical skits, dances and games about donating to Planet Aid.

Eric Newman, National School and Community Programs Director for Planet Aid remarked, "I was very pleased to see how engaged the students were." He added: "The videos and images showed that the students were having fun while actively participating in community and global service. As a teacher, I always found that students learn best when they are active, engaged, and enthused."

The regional category was also a new addition to the contest. Each region had a top winner, and will receive a gift from Planet Aid.

As the close of the year approaches, plans for the next clothing drive are under way. Newman asserts, "A school-based clothing drive is a great community event. It provides children, teachers, parents, and other family members a chance to rally together for a cause that benefits their own local community, as well as our global community."

"He notes, "Our clothing drive contests also provide a platform for teachers to educate their students about important environmental and humanitarian issues while presenting students with an experience to take action and make a difference for other people and for the planet."

To learn more about becoming a partnering school, contact School and Community Programs at